City of Vancouver has permitted laneway housing in all single-family neighbourhoods(RS zoning). A number of residents are adding laneway homes to their existing property, while others have decided to build them alongside their new construction. On average, 11 laneway house permits were issued per month during the first 100 laneway homes built in Vancouver, according to a study done by the city. 1645 LWH have been approved and 1147 have been given final inspection as of April 30, 2015.
What is a Laneway House?
Laneway housing is a detached dwelling on a single-family lot, facing the back laneway where the garage is located. One exterior parking space (minimum) is required on all lots with a laneway home. Houses that already have a secondary suite are still eligible. Note that STRATA TITLING IS NOT PERMITTED, as these dwellings are non-saleable.
Why Build a Laneway House?
Every owner has their own reason for wanting to build a laneway home, but most cite the need for alternative housing options. Here are the most common reasons:
Read more about the lot requirements and dimensions for building a laneway house.
What are the Requirements for Building a Laneway House?
Want to know if your lot is eligible for laneway housing? Here are a few criteria:
How Big are Laneway Homes?
Laneway housing can be built in 1 and 1½ storey configurations. The maximum floor area can be determined by multiplying the lot area by 0.16.
If you choose to build a 1 storey house it is limited to the same maximum height as a garage which ranges from 12ft flat and 15 ft sloped roof. Also they allow you to build 32 feet from the alley instead of 25feet which will give you a larger foot print.
There are many other criteria that need to be looked into, like cost, specific lot dimensions, age of the house, house location on the property, and corner lot considerations. If you have questions about your specific property, you can email or call me directly. I look forward to speaking with you about your project.
Below is a common lot floor plan for a laneway house.